Product Review - the NEW VERSION of the Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack

Life gets busy... ya know?  So I buy a product and I plan to post some thoughts about it and then... life gets busy and it sits in my draft files forgotten!  And this would be one of them.

If you looked at, bought or thought about the Kelty Redwing 50 in the past - look again.  There are two versions.  The older one and the newer one.  Maybe some already know this - but I didn't so I figure maybe some readers out there don't either.
This is the Kelty Redwing 50.  Before I chat about it, I'll just get some of the features out of the way.
  • Hybrid loading
  • Hydration compatible
  • Water bottle pockets
  • Daisy chain
  • Zippered side pockets
  • Zippered stash pocket
  • Large front pocket with organization
  • Key fob
  • Carry handle
  • LightBeam single aluminum stay
  • HDPE frame sheet
  • Dynamic AirFlow back panel
  • AirMesh shoulder straps, waist belt, and lumbar
  • Padded shoulder straps
  • Load-lifter / stabilizer straps
  • Sternum strap
  • Hip belt stabilizer straps
  • Removable hip belt
  • Scherer Cinch

Last year I had my husband with on one of my trips to Dick's Sporting Goods and I can't help myself; I always end up in the camping and hiking aisles of every store that offers them - no matter what we actually went there for.  I was trying on packs and fell in love with the Kelty RedStone 60L pack - which my husband noted, and took a picture of the tag so he would remember which one I liked when it came time for Christmas and birthdays.

Well, if you knew my husband you wouldn't be surprised that even with the tag, pack name and product information, he still bought the wrong one for me when he gave me one for my birthday.  He said, "This is the one you liked.  I took a picture of the tag."   Hmmm.   RedStone 60L...  RedWing 50L...  totally different packs.  And I do still hope to get the Redstone 60L from Dick's that I want but no matter - because the Redwing 50 is still a really good pack and I can use it for simple 1 night overnights (or even as a day pack).

This description I found online sums it up pretty well:

"The Kelty Redwing 50 is big enough for a day-and-a-half of backcountry hiking and streamlined enough for use as an around-town day pack. A host of functional features make the Redwing 50 a do-it-all pack.

A single LightBeam aluminum stay and an HDPE framesheet equip the Redwing 50 with lightweight, reliable support. The pack’s Dynamic AirFlow back panel allows warm air to escape so that you stay cooler while carrying weight. A contoured, padded waistbelt offers comfortable load support. Kelty's patented Scherer Cinch uses a pulley-like system to double the tightening force on the waistbelt, ensuring that the brunt of the pack's weight rests on your hips. When you aren't carrying heavy loads and don't need the additional support, you can remove the waistbelt entirely and reduce the weight of the pack.

The curved and padded shoulder straps on both sizes of the Redwing 50 can be quickly and easily adjusted to comfortably fit varying torso lengths. The Small/Medium size will accommodate torsos ranging from 14.5"-18.5" while the Medium/Large fits 17.5"-21" torsos. Load lifter straps relieve stress on your shoulders and an adjustable sternum strap positions the shoulder straps across the chest to prevent chafing under the arms and on the shoulders. Side compression straps help you to cinch and secure the contents of the Redwing 50 for optimal balance and load distribution."

The large main packbag of the Redwing 50 is accessed through a large, zippered front entry that allows the entire face of the pack to open wide for convenient loading and unloading. An additional large pocket located on the front panel provides internal organizational options. Additional features include zippered side pockets, a stash pocket, an ice-axe loop, a carry handle, a daisy-chain attachment system and dual mesh water bottle pockets. A lined interior pocket and built-in tube exit make the Redwing 50 hydration compatible.

It's available in different colors - I have black but it's also in blue, red and green.

The entire front face opens. Laying it down flat on the floor, it opens almost like a suitcase.

I would say this bag is Kelty's way of pushing it as a 'day pack' more than a hiking pack.  Day packs are really popular right now and this design and the quality of the pack, as well as the price, all seems to point to 'day pack' or quick travel pack more so than a 2-3 day hiking, camping, use it hard pack.

26 inches by 16 inches by 12 inches - not too large but it holds a lot
I ended up using mine as a "always packed and ready to go" pack for simple tent camping, hiking or I can grab it as an emergency 'bug out' pack as well with what I keep stocked in it.

It doesn't have some of the bells and whistles and extra pockets that many other packs do

Although I've read the waist belt is 'removable' by first removing the aluminum stay, I've not removed it or even tried so  I have no comment on that

The one thing I don't like about it is there are no pockets or zipper compartments on the waist belt at all.  I miss this!  My other packs all have a small pocket on each side of the waist belt/strap and I love that for 'quick' grab items such as Chapstick, mace, a tissue, etc.

This extra lower back padding is the "Ahhhh"  factor

Here is the older version the new one replaced.  Note a few details are different but the quick and easy way to see if you are looking at the new or old version is the lack of silver trekking pole loops.    Since it doesn't have any straps on the bottom or top to strap on a sleeping bag or sleep pad, I used the loops to attach my sleep pad and it worked pretty well.



I got mine at Dick's Sporting Goods but you can find it at Amazon, as well as some other similar packs;

Kelty Redwing 50 Bacckpack - Black
Kelty Redwing 50 Backpack, Twilight Blue
Kelty Redwing 44 Backpack, Ponderosa Pine